Research Committees


Constitution: The Statutes were originally adopted 1968; tThey were subsequently amended in 2006 and in 2014.


1.1. The aim of the Research Committee on Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy (RC 19) of the International Sociological Association (ISA) is to encourage research of high quality on:

a) the sources and character of social problems;

b) the planning and administration of social programmes; and more generally,

c) public policies and intervention strategies aimed at alleviating social problems and influencing the society in that regard.


2.1. To fulfil this purpose the Research Committee engages in the following activities:

a) It organises the sessions on this area at the meetings of the ISA;

b) It sponsors international seminars on topics of theoretical, methodological or substantive importance;

c) It engages in additional activities approved by the Executive Officers with the consent of the membership.


3. Members shall either be regular members or affiliated members:

3.1. Regular members shall be individuals or institutions in good standing within the ISA

3.2. Affiliated members shall be individuals or institutions interested in the activities of RC 19, who are not members of the ISA.

3.3. All regular and affiliated members of RC 19 shall be entitled to vote as individual members in the discussions about organisational matters at the General Meetings according to the principle "one member, one vote" that means that one institution also has one vote.

3.4. All regular and affiliated members of RC 19 shall be entitled to

3.4.1. participate in the scientific activities of the Research Committee

3.4.2. receive the newsletter issued by RC 19 free of charge.

3.5. All regular and affiliated members of RC 19 shall be obliged to:

3.5.1. uphold the present Statutes of RC 19 and to adhere to the stipulations of the present Statutes

3.5.2. conscientiously fulfil the tasks entrusted to them by the General Meeting or other bodies of RC 19

3.5.3. pay their fee for the respective period (i.e. 4 years). This fee shall be fixed by the Board of the Research Committee at each General Meeting for both individual members and organisations. The respective amounts to be paid shall be specified in the By-Laws to the present Statutes.


4.1. There will be a President, two Vice-Presidents, a Secretary-Treasurer and four officers-at-large. In addition, the former president functions as an ex-officio member of the Board until such time as a new president is elected and he/she is replaced as ex-officio member by the out-going president.
4.2. Officers will be elected from and by the membership. They should be elected from different geographical regions.
4.3. Each member of the Board must at all times be:

(i) a member in good standing of the ISA in accordance with the ISA Statutes, and
(ii) a member in good standing of RC 19.


5.1. Officers of the Research Committee will be elected once every four years just prior to the ISA meeting.
5.2. Terms of office in all cases will be for four years with re-election limited to one term.
5.3. Nominations will be made by the Nomination Subcommittee with write in nominations possible (see Art. VIII, para 8.1.3).
5.4. The Nomination Subcommittee will appoint one of their members as returning officer.
5.5. The returning officer will prepare a ballot suitable for distribution as an email attachment.
5.6. Ballots will be emailed to members in good standing who figure on the Secretary's list of members for return to the returning officer.
5.7. A majority of those voting will constitute election for President and Secretary. Election for other officers shall be by plurality of votes cast.
5.8. Run-off elections will be held, if necessary.
5.9. An election shall be valid if more than one third of the membership votes.


6.1. The President

6.1.1. The President, as chief executive of RC 19, will preside at the meetings of the Committee and its Board
6.1.2. The President will be responsible for seeing that the sessions of RC 19 at the ISA meetings are organised
6.1.3. The President will initiate and carry out policies in conformity with RC 19's purpose as specified by the Board and the membership
6.1.4. Should the President fail to carry out their presidential responsibilities or allow their membership to lapse, the Secretary/Treasurer is required to inform the Board and to serve a six-month period of grace notice on the President. Should the irregularity not be resolved by the end of this period, the Secretary/Treasurer is required to inform the Board and to refer the matter to the ISA Secretariat.

6.2. The Secretary-Treasurer

6.2.1. The Secretary Treasurer shall provide a newsletter or equivalent to the membership at least twice annually. These include the time and place, as well as the organisers of seminars and workshops and of ISA sessions sponsored by RC 19
6.2.2. As financial officer of RC 19, the Secretary-Treasurer receives the dues of the members and makes disbursements under the supervision of the Board to which he/she presents an annual report
6.2.3. The Secretary-Treasurer shall prepare a membership list to be used for election purposes as provided for in Art. V, para 5.6
6.2.4. The Secretary-Treasurer shall announce to the membership the time and place of the general meeting
6.2.5. A statement of financial affairs will be given by the Treasurer every four years to the Board of RC 19 and to the Business Meeting Assembly. The Treasurer must be discharged of their financial responsibilities by the Business Meeting Assembly.

6.3. The two Vice-Presidents

6.3.1. The two Vice-Presidents will assist the President to carry out the functions listed under Art. VI, para 6.1. They may also be assigned special duties by the President.


7.1. The officials listed in Art. IV, para 4.1, constitute the Board.
7.2. The Board will meet at least once every four years before the meeting of the RC 19 membership to set general policy for the Committee.
7.3. Major new activities undertaken by RC 19 must first be approved by the Board.
7.4. The Board is represented on the Research Council of the ISA by the ex-officio member as representative and by the President as alternate delegate.
7.5. Temporary vacancies in the Board between consecutive ISA World Congresses may be filled by appointment by the President, in accordance with ISA Statute 4.5.
7.6. The places of any Board member not in good standing with either the ISA or RC 19 may be declared temporarily vacant by the President, at the President’s discretion, and the vacancy filled according to paragraph 7.5.
7.7. The Board shall identify the themes and topics for at least one mid-term conference and take responsibility for the organization of those sessions.


8.1. The Nominating and Balloting Sub-Committee

8.1.1. This committee will comprise three members. It will be headed by the ex-officio member of the Board (who will not be eligible for re-election). The other two members will be appointed by the Board; they shall not be current members of the Board
8.1.2. This committee will be responsible for preparing the list of nominations for RC 19 officers and for conducting the elections
8.1.3. The committee will seek suggestions from the membership before nominations are made
8.1.4. There should be at least two nominations for each office and the nominations should reflect the international nature of the membership.

8.2. Other Sub-Committees

8.2.1. The President, with the consent of the Board, may appoint such other sub-committees as are necessary to carry out the objectives of RC 19
8.2.2. The terms of office of the sub-committee chairperson and members shall not be longer than the term of office of the President
8.2.3. All sub-committee chairpersons shall serve at the pleasure of the President.


9.1. A general meeting of members shall be held in conjunction with the ISA meeting.
9.2. Announcement of the general meeting will be made to the members at least three months in advance, together with a tentative agenda of business.
9.3. A written petition of twenty members to the President within six months after the general meeting can institute a mail ballot to the membership on any issue presented at the general meeting.
9.4. The Board, by majority, can also institute a mail ballot to the membership at any time.


10.1. Upon written petition of twenty members to the President, an article or articles of this Constitution can be submitted to the membership for revision.

10.2. Revision requires majority (51 per cent) approval on a mail ballot.